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Enron Behind the War in Afghanistan

I've added a few url's from oil industry websites to this forwarded email as
further evidence of Enron's involvement in the motivation for the war in
Afghanistan. Reading this material will allow you to see the Enron scandal
and its ties to Bush-Cheney in a whole new light. To find thousands of other
energy industry website articles on this do a GOOGLE search using these keywords:
Pipeline Enron Uzbekistan Cheney Halliburton

Enron and the oil pipeline deal

[Note from Mstandridge@GeorgeBush-Undercurrents Website: click Here for an offline version (in case this is now off-line--mcs)].

"Enron/Uzbek Oil and Gas: Represented a multinational energy company in
connection with its joint venture to develop an oil and gas deposit in

"The one serious drawback companies have faced is getting the supplies to
the right market, the energy-hungry Asian Pacific economies. Afghanistan --
the only Central Asian country with very little oil -- is by far the best
route to transport the oil to Asia. Enron, the biggest contributor to the
Bush-Cheney campaign of 2000, conducted the feasibility study for a US$2.5
billion trans-Caspian gas pipeline which is being built under a joint
venture agreement signed in February 1999 between Turkmenistan, Bechtel and
General Electric Capital Services."

"UZBEKISTAN - The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) has agreed
to provide $400 million in financing for a joint venture of Uzbekneftegaz
and Enron oil and Gas Co. (Houston) to develop a clutch of gas fields in
Uzbekistan. It is the largest OPIC commitment in Central Asia thus far."

Here's an email I recieved this morning. You may already know about the oil
pipeline deal in Afghanistan and the Bush threats to the Taliban to invade
but these links show how Enron and the new
Afghan leader we just installed are all directly connected to Bush, to the
so-called war, Cheney refusing to reveal who he met with and the supression
of the 9/11 investigation Bush has threatened Congress with.
FORWARD: From: The Daily Brew:

The Motive

For years, US oil interests have been trying to build a pipeline across
Afghanistan to access the oil and gas around the Caspian Sea; efforts
that have continued past the 9-11 attacks.


Click here for an internal link to this same material

Enron was a key player in this game. Way back in 1996, Enron had cut a
deal with the president of Uzbekistan for joint development of the
nation's natural gas fields.

Houston Chronicle Date: TUE 06/25/96 Section:
Business Page: 4 Edition: 3 STAR (sorry, no link)

Enron had also done the feasibility study for the pipeline.


(Click here for an internal link to this same article--mcs)

For a time, the Taliban appeared to be a potential partner.
They had even visited Sugarland, Texas to talk things over.


The Crime

Unfortunately, the talks broke down, and by late last summer, the US
Government was threatening to commence war against Afghanistan (an
attack which would have violated every precept of international law).


(Click here for an internal link to the same article--mcs)

(Inserted by Jack)
BBC Audio of report on US intentions to invade Afghanistan BEFORE Sept

At least twice, Bush conveyed the message to the Taliban that the United
States would hold the regime responsible for an al Qaeda attack. But
after concluding that bin Laden's group had carried out the October 2000
attack on the USS Cole, a conclusion stated without hedge in a Feb. 9
briefing for Vice President Cheney, the new administration did not
choose to order armed forces into action.


(Click here for an internal link to this same article--mcs)

Simultaneous with making, but not following through on these threats,
Bush took a number of actions to make the US decidedly more vulnerable
to a terrorist attack. He ordered the Naval strike force, which Clinton
placed in the Indian Ocean on 24 hour alert so he could hit Osama as
soon as he had solid intelligence, to stand down. Bush threatened to
veto the Defense Appropriations Bill after Democrats tried to move $600
million out of Star Wars and into anti-terror defense. Bush opposed
Clinton's anti-money-laundering efforts, which were designed to stop al
Qaeda's money. Bush abandoned Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah
Massoud, or as the two star general Donald Kerrick told the Washington
Post, reflecting on his service to both President Clinton and President
Bush: Clinton's advisors met nearly weekly on how to stop bin Laden and
al Qaeda. "I didn't detect that kind of focus" from the Bush


(Click here for an internal link to the same article--mcs)

I don't have to tell you what happened next.

The Cover Up

Dick Cheney is openly breaking the law by defying GAO requests to turn
over his records of meetings with Enron.


(Click here for an internal link to the same article--mcs)

At the same time that Cheney has refused to turn over his records, Enron
and its accountants have shredded millions of pages of documents.


The Bush's themselves may have destroyed evidence. When the Justice
Department instructed the Bush administration to preserve any documents
related to Enron Corporation, a senior administration official said that
until now, "the White House had not been making any formal effort to
preserve or catalogue information about Enron contacts."

(Click here for an internal link to the same article--mcs)


While all of this law breaking, stalling, and destruction of evidence
has gone on, Bush has asked Daschle to limit Congressional probes into
Sept. 11.


(Click here for an internal link to the same article--mcs)

Note that the supposedly "liberal press" has so far failed to put all of
these pieces together. They are too busy giving Bernard Goldberg and
Bill O'Reilly the airtime to sell a canard called "Bias."


The Daily Brew:

Centre for Research on Globalisation
[ home ]

Afghanistan, the Taliban
and the Bush Oil Team

by Wayne Madsen,  January 2002

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),,   23
January 2002


According to Afghan, Iranian, and Turkish government sources, Hamid Karzai,
the interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan, was a top adviser to the El
Segundo, California-based UNOCAL Corporation which was negotiating with the
Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan
through western Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Karzai, the leader of the southern Afghan Pashtun Durrani tribe, was a
member of the mujaheddin that fought the Soviets during the 1980s. He was a
top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director
William Casey, Vice President George Bush, and their Pakistani Inter Service
Intelligence (ISI) Service interlocutors. Later, Karzai and a number of his
brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA. Karzai
continued to serve the agency's interests, as well as those of the Bush
Family and their oil friends in negotiating the CentGas deal, according to
Middle East and South Asian sources.

When one peers beyond all of the rhetoric of the White House and Pentagon
concerning the Taliban, a clear pattern emerges showing that construction of
the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from
the outset. Although UNOCAL claims it abandoned the pipeline project in
December 1998, the series of meetings held between U.S., Pakistani, and
Taliban officials after 1998, indicates the project was never off the table.

Quite to the contrary, recent meetings between U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan
Wendy Chamberlain and that country's oil minister Usman Aminuddin indicate
the pipeline project is international Project Number One for the Bush
administration. Chamberlain, who maintains close ties to the Saudi
ambassador to Pakistan (a one-time chief money conduit for the Taliban), has
been pushing Pakistan to begin work on its Arabian Sea oil terminus for the

Meanwhile, President Bush says that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan
for the long haul. Far from being engaged in Afghan peacekeeping -- the
Europeans are doing much of that -- our troops will effectively be guarding
pipeline construction personnel that will soon be flooding into the country.

Karzai's ties with UNOCAL and the Bush administration are the main reason
why the CIA pushed him for Afghan leader over rival Abdul Haq, the
assassinated former mujaheddin leader from Jalalabad, and the leadership of
the Northern Alliance, seen by Langley as being too close to the Russians
and Iranians. Haq had no apparent close ties to the U.S. oil industry and,
as both a Pushtun and a northern Afghani, was popular with a wide
cross-section of the Afghan people, including the Northern Alliance. Those
credentials likely sealed his fate.

When Haq entered Afghanistan from Pakistan last October, his position was
immediately known to Taliban forces, which subsequently pinned him and his
small party down, captured, and executed them. Former Reagan National
Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, who worked with Haq, vainly attempted to
get the CIA to help rescue Haq. The agency claimed it sent a
remotely-piloted armed drone to attack the Taliban but its actions were too
little and too late. Some observers in Pakistan claim the CIA tipped off the
ISI about Haq's journey and the Pakistanis, in turn, informed the Taliban.
McFarlane, who runs a K Street oil consulting firm, did not comment on
further questions about the circumstances leading to the death of Haq.

While Haq was not part of the Bush administration's GOP (Grand Oil Plan) for
South Asia, Karzai was a key player on the Bush Oil team. During the late
1990s, Karzai worked with an Afghani-American, Zalmay Khalilzad, on the
CentGas project. Khalilzad is President Bush's Special National Security
Assistant and recently named presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan.
Interestingly, in the White House press release naming Khalilzad special
envoy, no mention was made of his past work for UNOCAL. Khalilzad has worked
on Afghan issues under National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a former
member of the board of Chevron, itself no innocent bystander in the future
CentGas deal. Rice made an impression on her old colleagues at Chevron. The
company has named one of their supertankers the SS Condoleezza Rice.

Khalilzad, a fellow Pashtun and the son of a former government official
under King Mohammed Zahir Shah, was, in addition to being a consultant to
the RAND Corporation, a special liaison between UNOCAL and the Taliban
government. Khalilzad also worked on various risk analyses for the project.

Khalilzad's efforts complemented those of the Enron Corporation, a major
political contributor to the Bush campaign. Enron, which recently filed for
bankruptcy in the single biggest corporate collapse in the nation's history,
conducted the feasibility study for the CentGas deal. Vice President Cheney
held several secret meetings with top Enron officials, including its
Chairman Kenneth Lay, earlier in 2001. These meetings were presumably part
of Cheney's non-public Energy Task Force sessions. A number of Enron
stockholders, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Trade
Representative Robert Zoellick, became officials in the Bush administration.
In addition, Thomas White, a former Vice Chairman of Enron and a
multimillionaire in Enron stock, currently serves as the Secretary of the

A chief benefactor in the CentGas deal would have been Halliburton, the huge
oil pipeline construction firm that also had its eye on the Central Asian
oil reserves. At the time, Halliburton was headed by Dick Cheney. After
Cheney's selection as Bush's Vice Presidential candidate, Halliburton also
pumped a huge amount of cash into the Bush-Cheney campaign coffers. And like
oil cash cow Enron, there were Wall Street rumors in late December that
Halliburton, which suffered a forty per cent drop in share value, might
follow Enron into bankruptcy court.

Assisting with the CentGas negotiations with the Taliban was Laili Helms,
the niece-in-law of former CIA Director Richard Helms. Laili Helms, also a
relative of King Zahir Shah, was the Taliban's unofficial envoy to the
United States and arranged for various Taliban officials to visit the United
States. Laili Helms' base of operations was in her home in Jersey City on
the Hudson River. Ironically, most of her work on behalf of the Taliban was
practically conducted in the shadows of the World Trade Center, just across
the river.

Laili Helms' liaison work for the Taliban paid off for Big Oil. In December
1997, the Taliban visited UNOCAL's Houston refinery operations.
Interestingly, the chief Taliban leader based in Kandahar, Mullah Mohammed
Omar, now on America's international Most Wanted List, was firmly in the
UNOCAL camp. His rival Taliban leader in Kabul, Mullah Mohammed Rabbani (not
to be confused with the head of the Northern Alliance Burhanuddin Rabbani),
favored Bridas, an Argentine oil company, for the pipeline project. But
Mullah Omar knew UNOCAL had pumped large sums of money to the Taliban
hierarchy in Kandahar and its expatriate Afghan supporters in the United
States. Some of those supporters were also close to the Bush campaign and
administration. And Kandahar was the city near which the CentGas pipeline
was to pass, a lucrative deal for the otherwise desert outpost.

While Clinton's State Department omitted Afghanistan from the top foreign
policy priority list, the Bush administration, beholden to the oil interests
that pumped millions of dollars into the 2000 campaign, restored Afghanistan
to the top of the list, but for all the wrong reasons. After Bush's
accession to the presidency, various Taliban envoys were received at the
State Department, CIA, and National Security Council. The CIA, which
appears, more than ever, to be a virtual extended family of the Bush oil
interests, facilitated a renewed approach to the Taliban. The CIA agent who
helped set up the Afghan mujaheddin, Milt Bearden, continued to defend the
interests of the Taliban. He bemoaned the fact that the United States never
really bothered to understand the Taliban when he told the Washington Post
last October, "We never heard what they were trying to say... We had no
common language. Ours was, 'Give up bin Laden.' They were saying, 'Do
something to help us give him up.' "

There were even reports that the CIA met with their old mujaheddin operative
bin Laden in the months before September 11 attacks. The French newspaper Le
Figaro quoted an Arab specialist named Antoine Sfeir who postulated that the
CIA met with bin Laden in July in a failed attempt to bring him back under
its fold. Sfeir said the CIA maintained links with bin Laden before the U.S.
attacked his terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in 1998 and, more
astonishingly, kept them going even after the attacks. Sfeir told the paper,
"Until the last minute, CIA agents hoped bin Laden would return to U.S.
command, as was the case before 1998." Bin Laden actually officially broke
with the US in 1991 when US troops began arriving in Saudi Arabia during
Operation Desert Storm. Bin Laden felt this was a violation of the Saudi
regime's responsibility to protect the Islamic Holy Shrines of Mecca and
Medina from the infidels. Bin Laden's anti-American and anti-House of Saud
rhetoric soon reached a fever pitch.

The Clinton administration made numerous attempts to kill Bin Laden. In
August 1998, Al Qaeda operatives blew up several U.S. embassies in Africa.
In response, Bill Clinton ordered cruise missiles to be launched from US
ships in the Persian Gulf into Afghanistan, which missed Bin Laden by a few
hours. The Clinton administration also devised a plan with Pakistan's ISI to
send a team of assassins into Afghanistan to kill Bin Laden. But Pakistan's
government was overthrown by General Musharraf, who was viewed as
particularly close to the Taliban. The CIA cancelled its plans, fearing
Musharraf's ISI would tip off the Taliban and Bin Laden. . The CIA's
connections to the ISI in the months before September 11 and the weeks after
are also worthy of a full-blown investigation. The CIA continues to maintain
an unhealthy alliance with the ISI, the organization that groomed bin Laden
and the Taliban. Last September, the head of the ISI, General Mahmud Ahmed,
was fired by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for his pro-Taliban
leanings and reportedly after the U.S. government presented Musharraf with
disturbing intelligence linking the general to the terrorist hijackers.

General Ahmed was in Washington, DC on the morning of September 11 meeting
with CIA and State Department officials as the hijacked planes slammed into
the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Later, both the Northern Alliance
spokesman in Washington, Haron Amin, and Indian intelligence, in an apparent
leak to The Times of India, confirmed that General Ahmed ordered a
Pakistani-born British citizen and known terrorist named Ahmed Umar Sheik to
wire $100,000 from Pakistan to the U.S. bank account of Mohammed Atta, the
lead hijacker.

When the FBI traced calls made between General Ahmed and Sheik's cellular
phone - the number having been supplied by Indian intelligence to the FBI -
a pattern linking the general with Sheik clearly emerged. According to The
Times of India, the revelation that General Ahmed was involved in the
Sheik-Atta money transfer was more than enough for a nervous and embarrassed
Bush administration. It pressed Musharraf to dump General Ahmed. Musharraf
mealy-mouthed the announcement of his general's dismissal by stating Ahmed
"requested" early retirement.

Sheik was well known to the Indian police. He was arrested in New Delhi in
1994 for plotting to kidnap four foreigners, including an American citizen.
Sheik was released by the Indians in 1999 in a swap for passengers on board
New Delhi-bound Indian Airlines flight 814, hijacked by Islamic militants
from Kathmandu, Nepal to Kandahar, Afghanistan. India continues to believe
the ISI played a part in the hijacking since the hijackers were affiliated
with the pro-bin Laden Kashmiri terrorist group, Harkat-ul-Mujaheddin, a
group only recently and quite belatedly placed on the State Department's
terrorist list. The ISI and bin Laden's Al Qaeda reportedly assists the
group in its operations against Indian government targets in Kashmir.

The FBI, which assisted its Indian counterpart in the investigation of the
Indian Airlines hijacking, says it wants information leading to the arrest
of those involved in the terrorist attacks. Yet, no move has been made to
question General Ahmed or those U.S. government officials, including Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who met with him in September. Clearly,
General Ahmed was a major player in terrorist activities across South Asia,
yet still had very close ties to the U.S. government. General Ahmed's
terrorist-supporting activities - and the U.S. government officials who
tolerated those activities - need to be investigated.

The Taliban visits to Washington continued up to a few months prior to the
September 11 attacks. The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and
Research's South Asian Division maintained constant satellite telephone
contact with the Taliban in Kandahar and Kabul. Washington permitted the
Taliban to maintain a diplomatic office in Queens, New York headed by
Taliban diplomat Abdul Hakim Mojahed. In addition, U.S. officials, including
Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Christina Rocca, who is
also a former CIA officer, visited Taliban diplomatic officials in
Islamabad. In the meantime, the Bush administration took a hostile attitude
towards the Islamic State of Afghanistan, otherwise known as the Northern
Alliance. Even though the United Nations recognized the alliance as the
legitimate government of Afghanistan, the Bush administration, with oil at
the forefront of its goals, decided to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia and
Pakistan and curry favor with the Taliban mullahs of Afghanistan. The visits
of Islamist radicals did not end with the Taliban. In July 2001, the head of
Pakistan's pro-bin Laden Jamiaat-i-Islami Party, Qazi Hussein Ahmed, also
reportedly was received at the George Bush Center for Intelligence (aka, CIA
headquarters) in Langley, Virginia.

According to the Washington Post, the Special Envoy of Mullah Omar,
Rahmatullah Hashami, even came to Washington bearing a gift carpet for
President Bush from the one-eyed Taliban leader. The Village Voice reported
that Hashami, on behalf of the Taliban, offered the Bush administration to
hold on to bin Laden long enough for the United States to capture or kill
him but, inexplicably, the administration refused. Meanwhile, Spozhmai
Maiwandi, the director of the Voice of America's Pashtun service, jokingly
nicknamed "Kandahar Rose" by her colleagues, aired favorable reports on the
Taliban, including a controversial interview with Mullah Omar.

The Bush administration's dalliances with the Taliban may have even
continued after the start of the bombing campaign against their country.
According to European intelligence sources, a number of European governments
were concerned that the CIA and Big Oil were pressuring the Bush
administration not to engage in an initial serious ground war on behalf of
the Northern Alliance in order to placate Pakistan and its Taliban
compatriots. The early-on decision to stick with an incessant air
bombardment, they reasoned, was causing too many civilian deaths and
increasing the shakiness of the international coalition.

The obvious, and woefully underreported, interfaces between the Bush
administration, UNOCAL, the CIA, the Taliban, Enron, Saudi Arabia, and
Pakistan, the groundwork for which was laid when the Bush Oil team was on
the sidelines during the Clinton administration, is making the Republicans
worried. Vanquished vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman is in the
ironic position of being the senator who will chair the Senate Government
Affairs Committee hearings on the collapse of Enron. The roads from Enron
also lead to Afghanistan and murky Bush oil politics.

UNOCAL was also clearly concerned about its past ties to the Taliban. On
September 14, just three days after terrorists of the Afghan-base al Qaeda
movement crashed their planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon,
UNOCAL issued the following statement: "The company is not supporting the
Taliban in Afghanistan in any way whatsoever. Nor do we have any project or
involvement in Afghanistan. Beginning in late 1997, Unocal was a member of a
multinational consortium that was evaluating construction of a Central Asia
Gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and Pakistan [via western Afghanistan].
Our company has had no further role in developing or funding that project or
any other project that might involve the Taliban."

The Bush Oil Team, which can now rely on the support of the interim Prime
Minister of Afghanistan, may think that war and oil profits mix. But there
is simply too much evidence that the War in Afghanistan was primarily about
building UNOCAL's pipeline, not about fighting terrorism. The Democrats, who
control the Senate and its investigation agenda, should investigate the
secretive deals between Big Oil, Bush, and the Taliban.


Copyright Wayne Madsen 2002. Reprinted for fair use only.


The URL of this article is:

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